Medical Terminology

HLA typing

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The HLA, or human leukocyte antigen, system or complex is the gene complex that encodes for proteins on the surface of white blood cells. These cell-surface proteins are responsible for regulating our immune systems and our ability to fight infection. HLA typing is a test that identifies human leukocyte antigens (HLA) in your system. While HLA typing is often conducted before numerous types of transplant/transfer surgeries (such as organ transplants and bone marrow transfers) to ensure compatibility between the prospective donor and the recipient, HLA typing is not an appropriate test (on its own) for diagnosing type 1 narcolepsy. This is because, even though most people with type 1 narcolepsy carry the HLA-DQB1*0602 gene, 20% of the general population carry this same gene, too.